Viewers of reality TV series ‘Shark Tank’ know that guest investors including A-list celebrities have been welcomed into the tank to invest in promising business startups since the beginning of the show. Actor Ashton Kutcher was one such celebrity guest investor who decided to make an appearance in the tank during the show’s seventh season.
ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’, which debuted in August 2009, is the American franchise of the international format ‘Dragons’ Den’, which originated in Japan as ‘Money Tigers’ in 2001. The panel features business tycoons like Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary.
- What brought Ashton Kutcher on ‘Shark Tank’
- Ashton Kutcher’s experience on ‘Shark Tank’
The crux of the challenge is that the entrepreneurs have to present their business ideas in a way that can impress the sharks who would then make an offer to buy a stake in their startup for a certain amount of money. Impressing and getting the sharks on board with their ideas is only one half of the game, the other is to negotiate right then and there and get a great deal out of them.
What brought Ashton Kutcher on ‘Shark Tank’
Kutcher, who is famous for his comic roles in shows like ‘That ‘70s Show’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’, left fans of ‘Shark Tank’ puzzled with his appearance on the show as a guest investor. But those who follow the actor for years know that Kutcher, who runs his own production company Katalyst, received help from angel investor Ron Conway (one of the original investors on the show) in the early years.
In an article for his website “A Plus”, Kutcher called Conway, his “biggest mentor”; he added that Conway had been extremely helpful in explaining to him how investing worked and taught him his strategy and how he manages his portfolio. Kutcher quotes: “He has probably been my biggest mentor.” For the uninitiated, Kutcher had previously invested in successful aspiring businesses like Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, and Soundcloud, and continues to invest through his venture capital firm A-Grade Investments.
But even after being successful as an angel investor, Kutcher felt hesitant to appear on the show. He admitted that he felt unsure and couldn’t make up his mind if he wanted to do it or not. Kutcher revealed that his friend and the outspoken Shark Mark Cuban had to convince him to audition for a guest role in the seventh season. However, what convinced the actor, other than Cuban, was the fact that his appearance on the show meant that it could draw new audiences to the show that wouldn’t have normally watched it.
Ashton Kutcher’s experience on ‘Shark Tank’
About his experience of swimming with the sharks, Kutcher revealed that the waters could get tricky when an investment was on the line.
“Part of being on ‘Shark Tank’ is being able to have fun and being able to go after each other and at the end of it going ‘it’s just business.’”
However, the actor noted that while the cameras are on, everyone had a license to go at each other and that there is a genuine bond among the panelists and a ‘teamwork‘ mentality. The sharks give credit where it’s due and went on record to say how surprised they were to see him go on stage and deliver an actually strong pitch.
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